Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The nuclear menace from under the seas and from high in the sky- theme for May 21

Why would anyone persist in pushing Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) and pretending that they can solve climate change, when they clearly cannot?

Well, the answer is – if you’re a toxic macho nuclear zealot or a nuclear weapons corporation – ( Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and General Dynamics etc)- this myth about SMRs is manna from heaven.

It means that the tax-payer, not private enterprise investors, will take over the SMR push – and the military-industrial-complex will race away with nuclear sites and weapons in space, and with powerful killer nuclear submarines.

Meanwhile those billionaire nuclear gurus – Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, , Richard Branson, Jack Ma and othes , will be laughing all the way to the bank, as they promote ”peaceful, nuclear-powered” space travel.

The global media promotes the joy and delight of space travel, rarely acknowledging its intimate connection with militarism. And there’s a crazy sort of national pride – hubris in being in the space race.

The space race to what? Apart from the obvious – nuclear war and annihilation, there’s the danger of ecosystem plutonium pollution from accidents and leaks, drastic accidents, and the gobbling up of public funds that might otherwise go to the public good – health, education, welfare, climate ation – heck – even good international relations!

The USA and Russia have long been in a toxic competition to militarily control the world especially by nuclear submarines. There’s a strange and unwarranted confidence that nuclerar submarines are ”clean” and somehow ”safe”. That’s because they release their radioactive trash unseen, into the world’s ocean waters. When they have an accident, well they just sink, and their poisonous mess is invisible. Dead nuclear submarines seem to be no trouble, hidden on the sea floor. Now that the world has become (a bit) aware of the radioactive danger of nuclear submarines, the dead ones lie in port, as nobody really knows what to do with them, how to clean up the nuclear mess.

In this time of pandemic, it is urgently necessary to put the brakes on NATO, and Russia – in regard to the increasing danger to the world, of nuclear submarines. Even more than cruise ships, they can be a hot-bed of coronavirus – making them even more unsafe in a number of ways.

May 8, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia sleepwalks towards nuclear war – enthusiasm for nuclear rockets and submarines.

Small nuclear reactors (SMRs) are being pitched to Australians as ”climate salvation”, ”cheap electricity” etc. Of course this is nonsense. But the toxic macho nuclear zealots are confident that SMRs will have a great future in nuclear wars on land, on sea, in space.

SPACE: Australia’s ”cultural cringe” is so obvious, in the fervour for space research. Breathless enthusiasm in media coverage of rockets, space exploration . Yet the truth is that Australian space research is tied to America’s goal of militarising space. We hold events like The Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition – pitched as family entertainment:

”THE AIRSHOW  will feature the raw potency and power of modern military aviation. The thrust and grunt of the latest military heavy metal will take centre stage. The stars of the show will be state-of-the-art jet fighters, bombers and giant heavy lift leviathans from home and abroad. See them so close you could almost touch them. Shudder to the roar of their mighty jet turbines as they perform high octane routines and simulated combat manoeuvres. Marvel as swarms of attack helicopters join in the fray.

Of course, if we can help the American drive for weapons in space, it is all the better to have the tax-payer fund our space research.

SUBMARINES. Australia’s nuclear zealots have long been working away for nuclear submarines…… way before the so-called ”neutral” nuclear military fan Kevin Scarce was made head of the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission, in 2016.

A push for nuclear submarines has been part of Australia’s appalling history of submarine deals in recent years. Part of this mess was recently exposed by Michelle Fahy in Murder, corruption, bombings – the company at centre of Australia’s submarine deal. But the whole sorry tale goes further. It probably explains why the Australian government chose the super costly French submarine design – in the hopes that it could easily be transformed from a diesal to a nuclear -powered form.

Impelled by the very right-wing Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the push continues. Academia is co-opted, as The University of New South Wales joins with the Submarine Institute to promote nuclear submarines in a July 15 Canberra seminar. The speakers include well known nuclear propagandists Tom Frame, Kevin Scarce, and Hugh White.

Tom Frame has also recently published a book, rapturously received by the nuclear lobby, enthusing about nuclear submarines, and recommending them as Australia’s way into the full nuclear fuel chain, and into the space race .

With Australia’s Murdoch media monopoly, and the ever-weakening ABC, the public is unaware of these machinations towards Australia’s role in nuclear militarism. The push for small nuclear reactors is the starting point.

April 30, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics international, technology | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry is a global threat, just like climate change and the pandemic – theme for April 21

Leaders of nations are slow to wake up to what many normal people have known – we share this planet. Its big problems are global, and need to be addressed globally.

The pandemic is a telling illustration of this – squabbles over how it started, and over vaccines. But leaders are slowly realising that economic life will not really get going while Covid-19 is raging in other countries.

Climate change is an even more serious example, with its effects not all predictable. But poor countries take the brunt of what has been caused by rich countries.

Somehow, inexplicably lurking in the background is the terrible danger of the nuclear industry.

The nuclear industry is in a way more dangerous, more sinister than the other two – because it is very corrupt, and is managing to put it over governments – posing as the ”solution” to climate change.

A global cabal of toxic masculinity, this crooked industry is run by nuclear ‘cowboys’ – keen to take the safety risks, the weapons proliferation risks, the apocalyptic war risks, not only on earth but in space, and on other planets. And they manage this confidence trick at tax-payers’ expense. The nuclear nations beef up their weapons ‘ industry, with public funds that are not going to the health and well-being of their populations.

Fortunately there are international organisations that work for global action – a good example being ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

It is time for the nuclear-free organisations to work together, globally, to counteract the nuclear industry. That’s a hard call, as the nuclear industry has the money, the influence, the ruthless crookedness to impose its will on governments and media.

The nuclear free movement, with its predominantly indigenous members, lacks mopney and influence. Still, the nuclear-free movement has some powerful advantages – intelligent expertise, integrity and determination.

April 10, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia a leader in the global clean energy nuclear-free movement – theme for April 21

Far from perfect, and yet, – Australia is in important ways a leader. Australia , along with New Zealand and a few others, has laws prohibiting nuclear activities. And the Australian clean energy and nuclear-free movement has a worthy history, and a strong global presence today

Through the 20th Century, Australia had an honourable role in internation nuclear disarmament agreements. In 2017 The U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was the result of the work of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. (ICAN) . ICAN was intiated in Australia

Australia has bountiful resources of sun, wind and ocean waves to supply 21st Century clean energy.

Way back in the 1960s and 70s, solar energy techniques were developed in Australia. Today Australia leads in solar rooftops, and despite government lack of interest, is developing solar and wind farms, and battery storage, with South Australia as a world leader in clean energy production.

Today, Australia has a corrupt government, in bed with the fossil fuel industries, and ever ready to do the bidding of the nuclear lobby – (if it were not for the strong anti-nuclear laws). The inept Morrison government has no ideas, is run largely by a small noisy contingent of far right pro nuclear idealogues.

We must be aware that the nuclear lobby is a global beast, a cabal of toxic masculinity – it gambles with the perils of nuclear accient, nuclear war, and rides off like little boys into space adventures, including space weaponry (and at tax-parers’ expense)

The clean energy movement needs to be a global one, too, – a co-operative work, in which Australians join with other nationalities, and especially indigenous people world-wide, in the vital struggle to save this planet and its peoples.

Proudly, we have not only ICAN Australia, but also The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Australian Conswervation Foundation – to name just a few national groups, and there are also State-bsed groups.

April 1, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Hiroshima 1945, Fukushima 2011, – Japan’s nuclear horrors – theme for March 21

As World War 2 neared its end, with 20 million Russian soldiers killed, fighting with the Allies against Hitler, America’s government was already planning its military superiority over Russia.

What they needed was to demonstrate  a weapon of huge mass destruction, that would frighten the Russians.   Germany surrendered on 7 May 1945. Too late to try one out on Germany , but Japan was still in the war, (though near to giving up). So they had to hurry.  Japan would be the test case –  selecting the city of Hiroshima , both to test the effects of atomic bombing, and to show the Russians, on August 6th.  To emphasise the USA’s military superiority, they plutonium bombed Nagasaki 3 days later.

After the war, how to get Japan ”on side” against Russia , and equally important, to show the Japanese that nuclear is really quite good.? USA helped Japan to now get an ‘economic miracle’, and better still, give Japan the benefit of ‘good nukes’.

To these crowded, seismically dangerous Japanese islands, USA promoted clusters of nuclear power stations.  The nuclear industry’s image was miraculously enhanced –  to Japan, and to the world.

BUT, 66 years later, Japan suffered another disastous nuclear blow, with the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power station. With the 10 year anniversary of this disaster, on March 11, the real cleanup is nowhere in sight, vast amounts of contaminated water are still accumulating, areas are uninahitable, and most evacuees don’t want to return. Radioactive pollution in forests is still a problem.

Sad to reflect that this one country, Japan, has suffered two great nuclear horrors – 75 years apart, with the tragic effects of both continuing.  The world needs, not a celebratory, cosmetic, Olympic Games, but real international help for the people of Fukushima, and for the environmental remediation. Japan needs help to shut down the toxic nuclear industry and move to clean energy

March 10, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear wastes – deliberately left to our grandchildren – theme for February 2021

The nuclear lobby has found the perfect solution to shutting down reactors and dealing with radioactive trash now accumulating.  The answer is so simple – Do Nothing, really.

You just extend the operating licenses of old, cracked, tired nuclear reactors for many more decades –  100 years is the recommnded time, now.

That way, all today’s so-called ”responsible” authorities absolve themselves of all responsibility for those problem and outcomes.  And – it’s so much cheaper than taking responsibility!

February 5, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The Australian nuclear waste confidence trick – theme for February 2021

The small rural town of Kimba is being conned by the unethical Australian nuclear lobby –  Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Department Of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) and all their political and media hangers-on. 1 the planned waste dump is not a “medical necessity” for Australia.  Nuclear medicine will continue if there is no centralised dump.

  1. Medical radioisotopes –  the vast majority decay so fast that they are best disposed of close to where they are used,: they do not need to be transported 1700 km across Australia.
  2. Contrary to the propaganda fed to the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker, the purpose of the dump is not just for Low Level Wastes (LLW). It is for Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW), which by the way, are classed in France as High Level Wastes (HLW)
  3. The communities are told that the  waste dump is  “temporary”, but as there is no plan for permanent disposal, in reality, it will be a case of stranded nuclear wastes for hundreds of years.
  4. The communities are told that overseas, nuclear waste dumps are happily accepted, but in reality, there is fierce public opposition in UK, France and USA.
  5. There is no real evidence that this will be an economic bonanza for the towns.  There is every likelihood that this plan, already divisive for the communities, will be a blight on South Australia’s agriculture, tourism, and reputation.

 

January 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – theme for January 2021

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first international ban on nuclear weapons, came into force on Jan. 22, 2021.

It joins the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention as a treaty prohibiting weapons of mass destruction . It joins those international agreements that prohibit and eliminate weapons based on their humanitarian harm.  The treaty has widespread support in the international community — 122 countries voted for its adoption in 2017, and these countries have continued to express their support for the treaty .

The Traty is not merely symbolic.  It prohibits states parties from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using (or threatening to use) nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits states parties from assisting, encouraging, or inducing states to engage in any of these prohibited activities.

A NATO State  may join the Treaty and remain in the alliance as long as that state renounces participation in the nuclear dimension of the alliance and indicates that it does not support activities prohibited by the treaty.

About compliance concerns in the Treaty.  international treaties reinforce norms and provide a forum to discuss and condemn violations of international standards for peace and security.

The treaty will continue to grow and integrate into the international system well beyond its entry into force in January and first meeting of states parties.  The norm established by previous weapons prohibitions impacted banks, companies, and government policies in countries that had not joined the treaty, and the same can be expected for the nuclear prohibition norm.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will impact the norm against nuclear weapons and in the meantime will provide concrete assistance for victims of nuclear weapons use and testing and contribute to remediating radiologically contaminated areas.

These notes adapted from https://warontherocks.com/2020/11/five-common-mistakes-on-the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons/

January 9, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – theme for January 2021

This ICAN  report  corrects the Australian government’s  misrepresentation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

Australians can be proud of historic efforts – Doc Evatt and the Labor Party led in the 1940s to establish the United Nations. Australia led in in negotiating and ratifying conventions against chemical weapons in 1972 and against landmines and cluster munitions in more recent times.   Gough Whitlam ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1973 and that treaty is still important in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

Much more recently, Australians initiated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which grew to eventually bring about the successful movement towards the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN was awared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was concluded in July 2017 with the support of 122 states. Unfortunately, Australia was one of those few countries that did not vote for that treaty. Under this government, we didn’t even participate in the negotiation of the treaty, and we voted against the 2016 UN General Assembly resolution that established the mandate for negotiations. It isn’t a proud record.

With 51 ratfications, the Treaty will come into legal force on January 22. This is being ignored by the present Australian government.  However, The Australian Labor Party is committed to working toward the ratification of the treaty. The US alliance is very important to Australia and to the Australian Labor Party. Ratifying this treaty as a sovereign state should not affect our relationship with the incoming Biden administration.

ICAN Australia says ” While the entry into force of the treaty won’t make nuclear weapons disappear overnight, it will mark a significant shift in the legal and political framework around these weapons. They will be increasingly shunned like chemical and biological weapons. The treaty provides a multilateral legal pathway for all nations to further the stigmatisation, prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. We won’t let Australia weasel out of it forever.”

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The new Big Global HOAX – LITTLE Nuclear Reactors – a marketing triumph! theme for December 20

For a while, it was confined to the “nuclear nations” – USA, Russia, China, and some historic failed attempts in India and South Africa. Now these still non existent fantasies are being marketed to countries all over the world

The “peaceful nuclear industry’ with very big reactors, and less big “research” reactors,  has always been an expensive front for the nuclear weapons industry.

But, things have changed.  The big reactors have got massively expensive, and the toxic radioactive trash that they produce has become a global and unsolvable problem.  Shock horror –  people don’t like them!  Non nuclear cyclotrons can produce medical radioisotopes – no need for the research reactors, either.

The global nuclear weapons industry is in a panic, because:

It must somehow keep up that ‘peaceful’ mask of “commercial nuclear” , and “medical nuclear”.  and

more shock horror – people don’t want nuclear weapons, and the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will come into force on 22 January 2020 –   the nuclear weapons industry will become illegal, just like chemical warfare and land mines.

What to do to keep the nuclear weapons industry going?  Where to get money for it?  Where to get the essential nuclear personnel?  Where to get the money and training for these nuclear experts?

The solution – a new gimmick to enthuse the population yet again about the nuclear industry- the Small Nuclear Reactor

And those wonderful marketing minds raced around to find that solution, and to market it as the solution to some other grave global problem.  And there was a new  problem sitting there, waiting to be exploited. – CLIMATE CHANGE!

You’ve gotta hand it to these nuclear snake oil salesmen – they are doing a great job, worldwide – especially seeing that they know that Small Nuclear Reactors would be no use whatever against global heating.  And governments and media are swallowing their story.

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Corrupt spinning of Small Nuclear Reactors -Australia beware – theme for December 2020

With the financial collapse of the nuclear industry, and with the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty coming into force soon, the nuclear lobby is pitching a pack of lies, as it desperately promotes Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs.).

Australia is not immune to this corrupt spin.  Indeed, Australia is a sitting duck

November 28, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

Politics – what hope for civil society? theme for November 20 

AS I write the tortuous American election  process is going on. The USA used to be a world leader .   This is a gripping example of 2 different ways to run the political process. With Trump – dictatorial ruthlessness – heading to fascism, with Biden, restraint, respect for the rule of law, and a co-operative effort.

2020 has seen the continuing dictators, like  Xi Jinping, Putin, Putin, Kim Jong Un, Bolsonaro, Bashar Al-Assad – , and also the drift to  dictatorship in democratic countries, e.g India.  As the world is faced with huge problems, many people seem to turn to uninformed, anti-science populist leaders – especially in English- language countries –  USA, Britain, Australia.

So –  the American election circus goes on: it is something of a test case for the world.  To deal with global heating, nuclear dangers, and the pandemic, we need people of intelligence, respect for science, and the ability to co-operate.

Fortunately there are many thousands of people with all kinds of valuable skills , working on the global problems.  Far too many great organisations to name here, and a lot of them under the wing of the United Nations.

The achievements can be seen, and continue to evolve, First and foremost , there’s the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, It matters, whatever the bosses of the ‘nuclear nations’ say.  There’s the global work towards the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.   But, however good the work of these agencies, it can succeed only with the participation and support of millions of people

The media has a huge role to play in explaining and promoting this. But will they?

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Politics in the age of pandemics, global heating, and nuclear danger – theme for November 20

The global threats of pandemic, climate change, and nuclear danger clearly require co-operation between nations, if we are to have any hope for a decent future – indeed – perhaps any future, for the human species, and for the rest of the other species, too.

Tensions as Armenia- Azerbaijan conflict pauses. War in Syria grinds on. USA and China already in some sort of cold war. National pride and one-up-manship are perpetually on display among the leaders of countries.  Nationalist and populist leaders seem to be in charge, with competitiveness and dog-eat-dog as their prevailing philosophy.

It is time for political leaders to pay attention to the efforts of global bodies, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and the many international agencies that work for the public good. What a timely winner for the Nobel Peace Prize was the United Nations World Food Programme!

As I write, people all over the world sigh in relief as the USA’s Democratic Party, led by reaonable people, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, wins the American election.   The disastrous results of four years of the Trump presidency for the United States will take some fixing. A return of President Trump would mean disaster for the whole world.

A rational team in the White House could begin the change that the world needs –   co-operation between the powerful nations to address the threats that now preoccupy the world’s people.

The Biden-Harris team will address the horrors of pandemic and climate change.

But let’s be aware. They’ll be more co-operative on nuclear arms control, but they are just as much in the grip of the nuclear lobby as the Republicans are.

November 9, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

USA election – pandemic, climate, nuclear issues – theme for October 2020

On the pandemic – Donald Trump says – his COVID-19 infection is a “blessing from God”, and promises to make the experimental drug he received available for free to all Americans.

What can I say?  The present coronavirus chaos in America surely indicates what we can expect from a renewed Trump presidency – further chaos on the health area, and probably every other area, too.   Heaven help USA if an even worse virus should come along.

On climate? – a Democratic victory would be an improvement indeed.  Joe Biden has not been an enthusiast for climate action – but, under the pressure of the climate crisis, and the strong demand for action with the ‘green new deal”, he now expresses strongly the Democrats policy plans for action to reduce greenhouse emissions, and support international agreements.

On nuclear?  We know that Biden and the Democrats will be better in international relations. It will be  a relief to get away from the Trump brinkmanship and uncertainty.  But – We can’t expect much progress on curbing the nuclear weapons bonanza for the death industries.

On nuclear power. Well, despite the evidence now becoming clear – that small nuclear reactors are useless, the Democrats would pursue them, because of their intrinsic connection with USA’s favourite industry –  weapons making. And because the myth about a ”transitional technology” makes it easier for the fossil fuel industries to hang on in there.

October 17, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australian politics in the pandemic, climate, nuclear crises – theme for November 20

I’ve had to update this, in view of changed circustances:

  1. This site from now on will leave pandemic and climate coverage to others, as these issues are being covered so well by others,. Here we will focus on matters nuclear, which are being studiously  ignored in Australia’s mainstream media.
  2. A dramatic win for fair process and against the nuclear lobby has just happened, as Labor and crossbench Senators rejected the government’s Bill to impose a nuclear waste dump on Kimba, South Australia. (But that battle will no doubt continue Minister Pitt, Trump-like, does not like losing)

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To be fair, Prime Minister Scott Morrison did a good job – taking the advice of medical science, and promptly dealing with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

But – looking at the longer term –   well, this government just doesn’t look at it!

They thought that coronavirus would magically all be over within a few months.  They have no plan for the , longer term health and economic recovery,

Australia is a leper in the world community, as it refuses to take action against climate change.

The Australian government, hand in glove with weapons-makers, has its politicians freely moving into weapons-making jobs, and vice versa, ignoring the huge conflicts of interest.

 

October 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics | Leave a comment